Why is My Tire Pressure Light Flashing?

The tire pressure monitoring system (TPMS) keeps track of your vehicle’s tire pressure levels. Maintaining proper tire pressure is important, as underinflated tires can lead to increased tire wear, reduced fuel economy and safety, and potential failure. 

While we don’t often pay much attention to our tire pressures, the TPMS keeps us updated on its status with an orange light on the dashboard when something needs addressing. 

What Does the TPMS Light Mean?

If tires are not at the proper tire pressure, it can cause increased tire wear as well as changes in driving dynamics that might cause your vehicle to feel clumsy or heavy when taking turns. 

Most times the light is illuminated, it’s lit up solid as mentioned above. However, if you notice your TPMS light is blinking temporarily before turning solid, it may be signaling a bigger issue that should be addressed. 

TPMS warning light

What Does a Flashing TPMS Light Mean?

If you encounter a blinking TPMS light on your dashboard, it’s most likely warning you of a problem in the TPMS system itself rather than the tire pressure. 

There are a variety of reasons your TPMS could be malfunctioning, including these common causes. 

Dead Sensor Battery

One potential source of your flashing TPMS light is a dead tire pressure sensor battery. Each wheel has an individual sensor to read that tire’s pressure. These sensors are powered by small internal batteries that eventually die, leaving the sensor needing to be replaced. When a sensor fails, it will cause a malfunction in the TPMS that leads to the flashing warning light. 

These batteries generally last between 5-10 years, depending on your vehicle’s driving conditions and frequency. 

Damaged Sensor

While these tire pressure sensors are fairly durable, they can experience damage from weather conditions, road debris, or collisions. This will cause an error in the TPMS and subsequently the flashing light. Luckily, TPMS sensors are generally cheap and can be replaced easily. 

Improper Relearn Procedure

Each tire pressure sensor has a unique ID associated with a specific wheel on the car. When tires are rotated or a sensor is replaced, the TPMS needs to go through a relearning procedure to reassociate the IDs with the proper wheel. 

Relearn procedures vary by manufacturer, but some of the most common include using the OBD2 port, putting the car in stationary “relearn mode”, or allowing it to auto-learn by driving it at various speeds. 

If this process is not completed or done improperly, the TPMS may have an error that causes the flashing tire pressure light. 

TPMS & Tire Services at Scott’s U-Save

If you’re looking for TPMS diagnostics and repair or tire services, trust the tire experts at Scott’s U-Save at our three locations in Steger, IL, New Lenox, IL, and Schererville, IN. We have extensive experience servicing tires and TPMS on all makes and models! Give us a call or schedule online with our friendly team today. 

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